I Heard Back From the Coach, Now What?

communicating with college coaches

communicating with college coachesWe spend a lot of time discussing how to begin the recruiting process. It can be difficult to get the attention of the coach and universities that are right for you. Whether you are emailing coaches on your own or using our online profiles to get discovered, the first step is to have 5-10 coaches that are actively recruiting you. Once you have accomplished that, it isn’t as straight forward on what to do next.

The goal is to find a school you want to attend, a team that fits your expectations and if possible get it all paid for through an athletic scholarship. Getting to that point takes a lot of work and it is easy to misread a coach’s response or interest for more than it is. Below I cover some of the most common questions I get once athletes have begun hearing back from colleges.

Please Send Us Your Summer Schedule and Call if You Have Questions

If you hear back from a coach, this is the typical response. Coaches use online profiles and film to make initial evaluations. If they like what they see, they make time in their summer recruiting to come watch you play in person. This can be at a travel tournament, their summer camp or third party combine. When a coach has told you they want to watch you this summer, you are still a long way from a scholarship offer. As a general rule, I say 100-200 recruits have received this same response “that a school will come watch them play” and it is up to you to take advantage of the opportunity giving coaches what they’ve asked for.

Also, if a coach asks you to call them, CALL THEM! This is how you show a coach you are interested; if you don’t call, another recruit will and they will have a better relationship with the school.

Great Communication but No Scholarship Offer

Coaches will recruit a walk-on just as hard as a scholarship athlete. Just because you are having great conversations and the coach says things like “I am really looking forward to having you on our team next year” doesn’t mean they are planning on offering you a scholarship. Most college athletes are non-scholarship athletes and the majority of scholarships are partial scholarships. If you are communicating regularly with the coach, making visits to their campus and feel like you have made it clear you really like their school, maybe it is time to discuss a scholarship with them (more on that here).

Being Asked to Verbally Commit but You Aren’t Sure

Some athletes run into a situation where a coach offers them a scholarship and is asking them to make a verbal commitment very early in the recruiting process (their junior year or earlier). For families this can be an uncomfortable situation because they aren’t sure yet.

Coaches aren’t doing this to make the process more difficult for you (coaches don’t like making scholarship offers to underclassmen either), but because this is just the way recruiting has evolved. In the competition for the best recruits, schools take the chance of committing scholarships to an athlete in their sophomore or junior year in order to get that athlete on their team. Their fear is if they don’t offer, someone else will and they will lose you.

As a recruit, it is your right to ask for more time before making a decision. You should always ask a coach who has offered you “how long do I have to decide on the offer?” After you get timeline for your response, you can plan out your decision making process accordingly. The difficult truth is, there will probably not be a perfect time to commit and ultimately you are going to have to just make a decision based on the options available to you.

This is not an exhaustive list of situation’s you face as a recruit but was written to address some of the most common things I get asked about. The goal of this blog and our website is to help recruits and families get answers to their recruiting questions. Please feel free to email me or leave your question in the comments below and I will answer them.


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